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Friday, November 22, 2019

What School Shooters Have in Common

Jillian Peterson & James Densley
edweek.org
Originally posted October 8, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

However, school shooters are almost always a student at the school, and they typically have four things in common:

They suffered early-childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age. They were angry or despondent over a recent event, resulting in feelings of suicidality. They studied other school shootings, notably Columbine, often online, and found inspiration. And they possessed the means to carry out an attack.

By understanding the traits that school shooters share, schools can do more than just upgrade security or have students rehearse for their near-deaths. They can instead plan to prevent the violence.

To mitigate childhood trauma, for example, school-based mental-health services such as counselors and social workers are needed. Schools can also adopt curriculum focused on teaching positive coping skills, resilience, and social-emotional learning, especially to young boys (According to our data, 98 percent of mass shooters are men.)

A crisis is a moment, an inflection point, when things will either become very bad or begin to get better. In 80 percent of cases, school shooters communicated to others that they were in crisis, whether through a marked change in behavior, an expression of suicidal thoughts or plans, or specific threats of violence. For this reason, all adults in schools, from the principal to the custodian, need high-quality training in crisis intervention and suicide prevention and the time and space to connect with a student. At the same time, schools need formal systems in place for students and staff to (anonymously) report a student in crisis.

The info is here.

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